I started this awhile ago and just now seemed to be able to finish it…
Eyes kind and understanding, he folds his arms and leans forward on the table. “So, what seems to be the problem?” he asks. And I spill. Everything.
Today was no different. Coffee with Mr. Ron is consistent. I know what to expect and I am never disappointed. We swapped stories and caught up. And then he read me. Like a book. And I love-and hate-that he has the ability to do that. I never have to ask him, he always lets me know how he experiences me, what’s the same and what’s new, and then we discuss what I can do to get the most out my time in whatever period of my life I happen to be in. It’s kinda like therapy only there’s coffee and the therapist pays.
We hadn’t had the chance to catch up since Mr. Ron’s dad passed away and so our conversation was tearful, which was a little different for me. Tears don’t come very often these days. I mentioned that to Mr. Ron, justifying my lack of emotions with the explanation that my job requires thick skin and tears are a sign of weakness. He smiled knowingly and said, “Hmmm, that’s not very you.” As tears streamed down my face as he shared the last days and moments of his father’s life, he finished, smiled, and said “You just cried.” I started laughing and thanked him.
We began to talk about my job, situations I had experienced over the past months, the people I had encountered, the joys, the pains, etc. As I shared frustrations, he interrupted me.
When I was learning to drive, my dad would take me to a dirt road out in the country. As I would drive he would say “A little lighter foot, Ronald. A little lighter foot.” When I was grown, I went back to Macon to visit and we went for a drive one afternoon, just Dad and I. We were just talking and he was driving and we came down a hill and the car got stuck. We continued talking and Dad was shifting gears and going back and forth to get the car out of the mud. The conversation continued and then I began to realize that we were sinking. Dad was jerking at the wheel and slamming the gas and then the brake. Back and forth went the gears. Finally, we were out. As we drove away from the sink hole, he said, “Well, son, there’s a time and a place for a heavy foot.”
“So, there’s a time and a place for a heavy foot”, he said. I just nodded. “You know when that is and you are going to be just fine.” he finished.
And he was right. I was just fine. Every frustration came to an end eventually and life moved on. And when nothing else seems to be consistent and steady, coffee with Mr. Ron is.